Katherine E. Jacobs, Ph.D.


President & CEO

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Katherine Jacobs leads a global portfolio of executive search and talent strategy engagements and manages the strategic development of our firm’s business lines and structures.

As a trained psychologist, teacher, researcher, and consultant with twenty years of experience both in the U.S. and abroad, Katherine guides organizations through change with particular expertise in founder and longtime leader transitions, facilitation of Board and executive level decisions, and the implications for organizational growth and talent development.  

Katherine’s executive search experience ranges from CEO & President searches for large foundations, academic institutions, and nonprofits to Director-level and C-suite talent strategy and recruitment for small, grassroots organizations in their start-up phases. Katherine was initially recruited to Isaacson, Miller, another leading search firm, from an academic career, and never looked back.  Since joining NPAG in 2007, Katherine has distinguished herself and the firm as an innovator in the search business and a leader in the national conversation about organizational diversity and equity and inclusion in hiring processes. 

A Fulbright Scholar and recipient of the Herbert L. Zimmer Award for excellence in psychological research, Katherine received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Rochester while training at the Eastman School of Music as a classical cellist. She went on to receive her Ph.D. in Psychology from Georgetown University. Katherine continued her international travel both living and working in 5 countries before settling into the DC metro area.  She speaks conversational German and basic Russian and Greek.

Katherine’s doctoral research focused on the psychological foundations of policy for managing cultural diversity and, in her consulting work, Katherine has brought her research to bear in NPAG’s distinguishing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as meaningful and distinct elements of talent strategy for a healthy mission-driven workforce.